My Beatles Confession

January 3, 2014 10:15 am

I have something I desperately need to get off my chest.

I’ve been keeping this particular secret close to my chest for years now, out of fear of being ostracized by other members of society.  My viewpoint has been ridiculed in the past and I didn’t want to have to go through any more traumatizing feelings of alienation amongst others, any more than I have already suffered as a social leper from simply being a writer (we’re anti-social creatures by nature, we can’t help it).  But now, I feel, my opinion has been cooped up in the recesses of my heart for far too long, and now, the time has come when I must be brave and step forward and declare myself, loud and proud, as a person of character who isn’t afraid to say what is written in their heart.

I absolutely hate the Beatles.

hate the beatles

This hasn’t always been the case and to merely take that sentence at face value, you may be under the impression that I cringe every time I hear one of their songs when, in actual fact, I am just as likely to hum along and join in with the words they know as the next person.  Their music has stood up for a long time and is a cultural establishment throughout the western world, and I cannot argue with that.

But the Beatles themselves, as a concept, I really don’t like.

It all started with my dad.  My dad was crazy on the Beatles.  I found some old tape cassettes my dad made when he was young, all Beatles albums.  The main songs he knows to play on guitar are the Hey Jude (his favourite song ever), I Feel Fine and Eight Days A Week.  I couldn’t escape them as a teenager and even went through a very brief phase of being a superfan myself.

the beatles bamdWhen university years rolled around, I moved to Liverpool, who blast the fact that the Beatles were originally from the famous friendly city as if it were the only thing going for them.  Or that the Beatles even stayed in Liverpool after they got slightly well-known.  I always get asked if I got to visit the Beatles museum, as if it were a shrine of some sort that must have a pilgrimage paid to it.  And while I quite enjoyed the experience of visiting it and interesting to look into the history of the world’s first pop super-group, I still found it over-priced and wouldn’t have gone had it not been for my family dragging me along.  When I graduated from my Masters course it was Sir Paul McCartney who gave me my LIPA badge.  Had I not dropped this name, I don’t know that either of my parents would have made such a fuss about the day.

Moving down to London and to this day, I seem unable to be rid of them.  More of their own shops and mini-museums dedicated to them, tourists on Abbey Road like it’s so original and even working over Christmas at Waterstones, I find there is a specific Beatles-dedicated shelf.  I am just about coping with Drive My Car, but if I hear Love Me Do or Money Can’t Buy Me Love one more time, I may have to kill someone.

Far be it from me to question the musicality of the Beatles, but I – as I hope others are – am a little bit sick to death of them.  They were a pop group that were together for a couple of years, made some great music, did a lot of drugs, then split and did a lot of solo stuff.  There are now hundreds of stories in the music industry very similar.  I don’t get the fuss.  Is the mop hairstyle really so iconic that I must suffer those four faces every single time I’m in central London?

I feel alone in my opinions because everyone seems to be united in their love of them.  Surely SOMEONE must agree with me, that they are overrated just a little?  The phrases  ‘creative genius’ and ‘legendary musical partnership’ get bandied about like they were the only people to ever collaborate.

And don’t even get me started on today.  In order of talent, they are sadly dying off, so naturally John and George were the first to go, and Ringo will almost definitely shuffle off this mortal coil last.  McCartney now does classical music as well as making a heck-load of money out of merely being a national treasure and repeating Beatles songs without the much-needed support of his back-up trio, in-between marriages.  Because of his status in the public eye, Heather Mills was made into the villain and ridiculed to the point of shame for the nation.  Ringo traumatized millions of children’s early years by being the voice behind Thomas The Tank Engine, then years later disses his own hometown on national television after releasing a song dedicated to it.  Way to go, Mr. Starr, after whom the famous quotes go:

Journalist: ‘Is Ringo Starr the best drummer in the world?’

John Lennon: ‘He wasn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles.’

the beatlesI would very much like Britain to get over the Beatles, and therefore encourage tourists to get over it as well.  There is so much more to our culture which is being sorely overlooked in favour of four Scouse stoners whose legend has lasted a lot longer than in necessary.  And I say that with every wish that their music, and music of the calibre they made should continue to receive attention and favour.  But seriously, United Kingdom, find some other artists, or just something else to champion besides Big Ben and the Queen for tourists, because it is well doing some of your residents’ heads in.

I write this in the hope that I might not be the only one who feels this way, and must confess that the Beatles aren’t the only figures that invite such disdain.  I feel the same about Star Wars (I’m a life-long trekkie and don’t give a crap that they’re making more), football (sing some songs with some goddamn elocution and stop hijacking my T.V. pleasures) and Movember (just give to charity and stop making a song and dance about it – we get it, you’re a good person, lovely, now please shave and be normal again).


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